On August 26, Catherine Miranda won her primary election in the 27th legislative district. In November, she faces a Republican challenger, but is expected to be handily elected to represent her solidly Democratic district in the state Senate.
A lot of us might assume that a female Democrat will be a fierce advocate for reproductive rights, but that’s not always a safe assumption. It certainly isn’t the case with Catherine Miranda, who not only won’t advocate to make abortion access a reality in Arizona, but will actively fight against it. She has been doing just that since 2011, when she first started representing her district in the House of Representatives. Next year, as a state senator, Catherine Miranda’s votes will carry even more weight.
So, without further ado, here are 10 things that every voter should know about Catherine Miranda.
1 Catherine Miranda, who has been running as a Democrat throughout her career, has endorsed Republican Michele Reagan for secretary of state, shunning Democrat Terry Goddard and his proven record as an advocate for reproductive justice and LGBTQ rights. In the 1980s, as the mayor of Phoenix, Terry Goddard helped keep Planned Parenthood patients safe from disruptive protesters, whereas just this year Michele Reagan voted in favor of HB 2284, which was designed to harass patients at clinics that provide abortions.
2 In an even more baffling move, Catherine Miranda has endorsed Doug Ducey for governor. Ducey is an odd choice, given that he is opposed to marriage equality and is expected to sign a bill similar to SB 1062 into law if it comes across his desk. He opposes abortion unless the mother’s life is at stake, and is advised by the far-right Center for Arizona Policy. Why does Catherine Miranda support Doug Ducey’s candidacy?
3 Speaking of the Center for Arizona Policy, Catherine Miranda signed their “pro-life pledge,” which denounces Roe v. Wade as unconstitutional and demands full “personhood” rights for fetuses at any stage of development.
4 Earlier this year, Catherine Miranda voted in favor of HB 2284, which allows warrantless inspections of abortion clinics. Previously, the health department already had the ability to perform immediate, unannounced inspections after obtaining evidence of health and safety risks — but it needed an administrative warrant first. There was no evidence that the previous regulatory system was failing, and ADHS did not request this legislation. Rep. Miranda backed it anyway.
This change has the potential to violate the privacy of women seeking abortion care, and is part of a larger barrage of aggressive bills targeting women and reproductive health care that Arizona has seen ever since Rep. Miranda took office in 2011.
5 In 2012, Catherine Miranda was the only Democrat to vote in favor of HB 2036, the bill that banned abortion past 20 weeks — but that, infamously, defined pregnancy as starting two weeks before conception, effectively banning it at 18 weeks. The bill put other restrictions on abortion as well, including imposing ultrasounds 24 hours in advance and requiring abortion providers to have admitting privileges to local hospitals.
6 Also in 2012, Catherine Miranda voted in favor of HB 2800, which prohibited state funding for abortion providers. Make no mistake, there never was state funding for abortions — HB 2800 simply sought to deny state Medicaid patients the ability to go to Planned Parenthood Arizona for preventive health care, such as vaccinations; cancer screenings, such as Pap tests and breast exams; and family-planning services, such as contraception. Luckily, PPAZ fought the bill in court and won, ensuring Medicaid patients’ right to choose their own health care providers.
7 Back in 2011, Catherine Miranda voted in favor of HB 2384, a similar bill that targeted Planned Parenthood Arizona. The bill prohibits Arizona taxpayers from receiving the Working Poor Charitable Tax Credit if they contribute to an organization that provides abortions. Now that this tax credit can no longer be claimed by donors to Planned Parenthood Arizona, there is less incentive to support access to preventive care, such as gynecological exams, STD screenings, and Pap tests.
8 Also in 2011, Catherine Miranda voted in favor of HB 2443, which outlawed abortion based on sex or race — a classic solution in search of a problem, given that sex- or race-selective abortion has never been shown to be a problem in Arizona. The bill was actually just another attempt to stigmatize the procedure rather than do anything to address sexism or racism. Now, those seeking abortion services in Arizona must disclose their reason for choosing to terminate their pregnancy and sign an affidavit stating that the abortion is not for sex or race selection.
9 In 2011, Catherine Miranda voted in favor of HB 2416, which prohibited certain types of medical professionals from providing medication abortion — despite the fact that these health care providers had been facilitating medication abortions for more than a decade with exemplary health and safety records. Abortion access was disrupted in Flagstaff, where Planned Parenthood’s health center was forced to discontinue abortion services for its rural clientele until earlier this year. The bill also banned the use of telemedicine in providing abortions, which also restricted access for rural Arizonans.
10 Catherine Miranda received a 50-percent rating from Stonewall Democrats of Arizona, is classified as “anti-choice” by NARAL Pro-Choice Arizona, and was endorsed by Arizona Right to Life in 2012. Her ratings with Planned Parenthood Advocates of Arizona haven’t been too hot, either. This year, she received a 67 percent rating from us — worse than most Democrats, better than most Republicans, but if we handed out letter grades that would still be a D. In 2011, she received only a 20 percent rating from PPAA, which would be an F!
To ensure that we’re represented by lawmakers who will stand strong for reproductive justice, we need to be registered to vote — and to vote in every election, including primary elections. A lot of people don’t understand why primary elections are so important, but Catherine Miranda’s victory last August is the perfect illustration of how critical they can be.